ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- At the first University Athletic Association volleyball round robin of the 2011 season, held at Washington University in St. Louis, the Brandeis University volleyball team dropped its first three matches. The Judges fell to NYU and the host Bears, who are ranked No. 2 in the nation, by 3-0 scores on the first day of action. On the second day, they were able to take a set but ultimately fell to Carnegie Mellon, 3-1.
In the opener against NYU, Brandeis played the Violets tightly in the first two sets before falling by a 25-22, 25-20, 25-13 score. Rookie outside hitter Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Acad.) topped the Judges with 10 kills, while classmate Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) had 15 digs. Sophomore setter Yael Einhorn (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) recorded a double-double with 24 assists and 10 digs, one shy of a season-high. Junior middle blocker Becca Fischer (San Antonio, Texas/Clark) finished with three blocks (one solo).
Against the defending NCAA Division III runners-up from Washington U., the Judges dropped a 25-12, 25-12, 25-19 decision. Brandeis struggled offensively against the Bears, recording 15 kills and 13 errors in 89 attempts. Hood had six kills, while sophomore OH Si-Si Hensley (Fullerton, Calif./Troy) added four. Bernaiche had 12 digs, and Fischer contributed two solo blocks.
Brandeis and Carnegie Mellon split the first two sets, but the Tartans prevailed in the next two to emerge with a 25-15, 23-25, 25-12, 25-20 victory. Hood and Hensley led the offense against the Tartans with 14 and 11 kills, respectively. Hensley also recorded her third double-double of the season with 12 digs, one shy of a season-best. Hood fell just short with nine digs. Bernaiche led the team with 15 digs, while rookie Vanessa Bodie (Grand Junction, Colo./Fruita Monument) had 13 in her first significant playing time of the season. Einhorn had 29 assists, while six different players contributed blocks.
With the losses, Brandeis drops to 7-10 overall. They return to non-conference action on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. at Emerson College.